- Voting polls are closed now. FMLN is asking its supporters to come out to the streets and to protect the vote, to watch and stay alert.
- Records of voting attendance.
- Fake email says FMLN has won elections.
- In 8 minutes starts the counting.
- FMNL report with a list of anomalies and photos of the electoral process.
Update 4:00 PM (2:00 PM in El Salvador)
- Historic turnout in El Salvador elections. FMLN members in DC report that more than 65% of Salvadorans came out today to vote. Everywhere there is a sense of celebration, people are in the streets, red shirts everywhere.
- Attempts to bring foreigners to vote have been blocked by civilians who are organized to prevent them from leave stadiums filled with Hondurans, Nicaraguans, etc. brought by ARENA buses.
- The first reports are expected around 7:00 PM time of NYC.
- Anti-Chavez Venezuelans spotted in El Salvador working for the Salvadoran Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the Arena party.
Today El Salvador votes for change as leftist candidate Mauricio Funes (FMLN) is poised to be elected as President. So far the elections are being held without much conflict or violence, even though there are signs that right-wing ARENA party is doing everything in order to stay in power, even if it means committing a fraud.
Some reports say that there is a possibility of violence as tensions between members of both parties are very notorious at this point. Also because there are reports from independent citizens, bloggers and journalists about hundreds of buses with thousands of foreign people being brought into El Salvador from Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala to vote against Funes. Also reports on false ID voting cards are being pointed out, but the cases are very few.
Follow the elections with these two blogs:
The blog of CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador in Washington, DC. It includes updates on political action in the US, alerts from El Salvador, and others. In English.
The blog of a group of international observers that have traveled from the US to El Salvador, including Montgomery County (MD) Councilmember George Levanthal; Salvadorian American National Association - SANA; CASA de Maryland; Salvadorian Students in the United States; Our Lady of the Guadalupe Church in Chicago, IL; the Matea Group in the Washington, DC region; among many more.
Tim's El Salvador blog, includes updates and analysis from an American blogger who has being involved in social work in El Salvador.
If you are fluent in Spanish:
The FMLN official website has a live Video stream and the agenda for Mauricio Funes, who is expected to talk to the public at 4:00 PM.
Check the Cadena radio station for live updates from San Salvador! (click on Radio en Vivo).
El Trompudo blog roots for Mauricio Funes, and today it has posted a photo that voters can use tomorrow. Some business owners have asked workers to show up on Monday with a photo of their voting ballot showing ARENA in their cellular phones. El Trompudo has a live chat...
Follow this Twitter for the ES elections 09
La Prensa Grafica newspaper in San Salvador
Change is coming to El Salvador
WOLA - the Washington Office in Latin America sent me this two days ago. As I wrote to them their report is very informative but I would like to know what are their sources to state that both candidates are tight in recent polls, when a week ago there was a 15 points advantage for Mauricio Funes (FMLN). However this report is a very complete review of the current situation in El Salvador today:
Presidential Elections in El SalvadorRead the complete memo here (PDF file).
Expectations for Change and the Challenges Ahead
By Maureen Meyer1
March 12, 2009
• El Salvador’s election season comes to a close with the presidential elections on Sunday, March 15, in what many expect to be a close race, increasing tensions in the country and the possibility of conflict.
• Long-term changes are needed to improve the election process in El Salvador. The Supreme Election Tribunal (TSE) continues to be politicized and weak, heightening concerns that several of the incidents and problems reported during the January legislative and municipal elections may be repeated for the presidential vote.
• The next president of El Salvador will face a daunting economic situation and a continued security crisis. The polarized political climate in the country may present challenges to reaching consensus in order to pass essential legislation.
• Recent statements by members of the US Congress can be perceived as intervention in El Salvador’s internal affairs. The State Department should publicly repeat the US government’s position that it will work with whomever Salvadorans freely and fairly elect.
The heated election season in El Salvador ends this Sunday as Salvadorans go to the voting booths to elect their next president. Several recent polls show a virtual tie between the National Republic Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista, ARENA) candidate, Rodrigo Ávila and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (Frente de Liberación Nacional Farabundo Martí, FMLN) candidate Mauricio Funes, while it is also widely recognized that for the first time since becoming a political party in 1992, the FMLN has a real chance of winning the presidency. In contrast to past presidential elections, there will be no second round in this race as the smaller National Conciliation Party (Partido de Conciliación Nacional, PCN) and the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiana, PDC) withdrew their candidates following the legislative and municipal elections on January 18.
The recent weeks have been marked by increased reports of violent acts committed by party activists, intense campaigning and negative propaganda, heightening the polarization between followers of the FMLN and ARENA and the potential for confrontations on election day.
Also check this interesting article from the CS Monitor:
Evangelicals key to El Salvador elections
The group, which has begun to shift to the left, could determine the outcome of Sunday's presidential election. Read more.
The New York Times:
SAN SALVADOR — El Salvador’s presidential election is only days away, and prime time television here is jammed with campaign commercials featuring snappy jingles, earnest endorsements — and President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.
After 20 years in power, the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, known as Arena, faces the first real challenge to its hold on the government from Mauricio Funes, a former television talk show host who is the candidate for the left-wing F.M.L.N. Read more
More updates coming up, polls close at 5:00 PM (7 PM Eastern time US)
There are local events in DC planned to monitor and celebrate the possible victory of the FMLN. I will report on that.